When you’re a small boat in a big ocean, even a medium-sized wave can capsize you. As a start-up, there are many “waves” or else known as risks, which can ruin the efforts you have so far put into your company. From poor publicity, team disputes, to lack of cashflow, there are many circumstances that would hurt a big company that could terminate the operations of a smaller, less established entity like a start-up.
So how do you make your company more resilient to the risks out there, and in cases when it does “capsize”, that it rights itself instead of sinking?
The answer is investing in business continuity.
Go through your day-to-day operations and seeing what you are dependent on, be that your space, personnel, rent prices, certain materials or parts, an internet connection, etc., and see what the possible risks could be associated with them. The list will likely be long, as there are many puzzle pieces which put a business together. Brainstorming “what-if”s should also be a lengthy process but take the time to write them down.
Now it’s time to assign numbers!
Rank the level of disruption that each of your scenarios would cause from 1 to 5, with one being mild and 5 being extreme. Once you have that in place, rank the probability of these things happening from 1 to 5 with one being highly unlikely and 5 being more likely. Now multiply the two numbers to come up with a new number, from 1 to 25.
Next, create a plan.
A business continuity plan will address how the company is to react if any of the situations was to occur to minimize disruption and move on. It should also outline who would be the decision makers. The numbers from the earlier exercise should indicate which scenarios you should focus on most and build in securities into your everyday operations and policies.
Once you have a plan, it’s time to share it with the team and integrate it into the day to day.
While you might only reach for the business continuity plan if something goes awry, everyone should know what it is, its contents, and how to access it in the event of an emergency. When constructing new policies and rules, keep them in-line with your BC plan for the greatest level of resiliency.
Here are some business continuity tips for start-ups:
- Go with the Cloud
An azure cloud service solution for your business will keep you more resilient to things like disruptions due to computer theft, hardware issues, and more. Storing information on the cloud means that you can reach it from anywhere, at any time, making dealing with emergencies easier.
- Write Everything Down
In a start-up, it’s easy to get caught up in the tempo and just operate in a day-to-day mode. However, turnover can be quite big in the start-up world, as talent moves in and out. Having your personnel write down operating instructions for everything will allow information to flow more easily when you expand your team or need to replace parts of it. Don’t build knowledge silos! You don’t want to be stuck with a hole in your information because a person unexpectedly left.
- Be Honest
Being honest with your investors and your customers is a great strategy for start-ups to have. In light of any public relations disaster, keeping your cool and being honest with your audience will take you much further than trying to cover up your tracks.
Startups are especially sensitive to potential disruptions to their operations, and business continuity can help increase their resiliency.